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Post-traumatic Migraine

About Post-Traumatic Migraines

What Is A Post-Traumatic Migraine?

Living with post-traumatic migraines can be an overwhelming challenge, affecting not only one’s physical well-being but also mental health. As medical science advances, new approaches emerge to address these complex issues. Among them, the Watson Headache Approach stands out as a promising avenue for those seeking relief from post-traumatic migraines.

Post-traumatic migraines often arise after a head injury, and they can manifest with severe headaches, sensitivity to light and sound, and nausea. These migraines can significantly impact daily life, making it crucial to explore effective treatment options.


Post-Traumatic Migraine Diagnosis

How Do We Diagnose Post Traumatic Migraine?

Post-traumatic migraine (PTM) is a type of migraine that occurs following a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or head trauma. Examples would include concussion, stroke, head or facial injury.

Post-traumatic Migraine Symptoms

Post-traumatic migraine (PTM) shares many symptoms with typical migraine headaches, but it is specifically triggered by a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or head trauma.


Nausea or Vomiting

Visual Disturbances

Increased Sensitivity

Increased sensitivity to light (photophobia) and sound (phonophobia)

Treating Post-Traumatic Migraines with the Watson Headache Approach

Post-Traumatic Migraine Treatment

The underlying driver of migraine (brainstem sensitivity) is the same for all migraine presentations, so they will respond to similar interventions such as dietary changes, sleep improvements, exercise and upper neck treatment.

The upper neck has direct connections with the brainstem and can increase brainstem sensitivity. This is why treatment of the upper neck can be particularly effective in changing post traumatic migraine symptoms.

Sydney Headache and Migraine Centre uses the Watson Headache® Approach which focuses on addressing the underlying mechanical dysfunctions in the upper neck that can be dialling up sensitivity in the brainstem, causing post traumatic training. Skilled physiotherapists trained in the Watson Headache® Approach utilise specific manual techniques to assess and treat dysfunctions in the cervical spine and related structures. These techniques aim to restore normal movement and reduce the sensitisation of the nervous system, potentially providing relief from migraine symptoms.

Our physiotherapists are also well trained in treating patients with acute concussion and post concussion syndrome as part of our associated clinic Sydney Concussion Centre. With post traumatic migraine being associated with head trauma our physiotherapist may assess and treat issues related to vision, balance and autonomic nervous system dysfunction which may also be a contributing factor in triggering post-traumatic migraine.

Living with post-traumatic migraines can be debilitating, however the Watson Headache Approach offers hope and a novel perspective on treatment. By addressing the upper cervical spine, this approach has shown promising results in providing relief and improving the lives of individuals suffering from post-traumatic migraines. As research continues to unfold, the Watson Headache® Approach may well become a cornerstone in the comprehensive management of migraines associated with head trauma.

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